A former Lagos State governor, Ahmed Tinubu, has denied a news report that he is plotting to “destroy” the Senate.
Mr. Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, on Wednesday said a report by ThisDay newspaper, accusing him of conspiring with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to attack the Senate, was an “outright falsehood” and a “bald assault against truth.”
It is the second time in five weeks that Mr. Tinubu would reject a report by the newspaper.
In March, the former governor debunked a report by the newspaper that he was planning to run for president, describing it as a “manufactured tale” “masquerading as professional journalism.”
The latest story, titled: “PDP Caucus Accuses Tinubu, EFCC of Conspiracy to Destroy Senate” said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus of the Senate at its meeting last week accused Mr. Tinubu of working with the EFCC to destroy the Senate by attacking the integrity of its members.
The story, which THISDAY said came from an unnamed source at the meeting, alleged that Mr. Tinubu was acting in concert with the anti-graft agency to destroy key elements in the National Assembly in order to clear the way for his 2019 presidential ambition.
“Constant bashing and campaign of calumny launched against the Senate by a prominent national daily and a frontline television station, believed to be owned by the former governor, is an example of the on-going underground war being waged against the Senate as an institution,” the source allegedly told the newspaper.
But in a statement, signed by his spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, Mr. Tinubu said those behind the report were “practitioners of political libel,” and slammed the newspaper for publishing what it described as “a rotten lie”.
“The story is such an outright fabrication that it claims the PDP Senators held a special meeting to discuss Asiwaju Tinubu. However, PDP Senators claim no such meeting was ever held and that they hold no special animus toward Asiwaju Tinubu,” the statement read.
It added that as a former senator himself, Mr. Tinubu would not never work to tarnish the reputation of the senate.
“We are usually not in the position of agreement with PDP members. But on this rare occasion, we have no contention with them. Asiwaju Tinubu is a former Senator. He has a special affection for the Senate as an institution. It is not within him to belittle the institution or members of that institution who happen to be in the opposing political party.”
The statement said character and personal attacks are not in consonance with Mr. Tinubu’s political ideology.
“The gutter is no place to build a better nation. We seek higher ground,” the statement said.